Book Review: Scripture Memorization by Christopher Pearson

Pearson, Christopher. Scripture Memorization: Its Purposes and Its Benefits. Kearney: Morris Publishing, 2007. 62pp. $7.00.

Introduction and Background Information

Chris Pearson thought he was saved, until God showed him otherwise. At 18-years old, he had a “moralistic” faith in which he lived in perfect contradiction to every thing he professed to believe. Then God saved Chris. After this, he went to Missouri Baptist University (then College) where he was introduced to Reformed Theology. He attended First Baptist St. Peters which is pastored by Joe Braden. This is where he was introduced to scripture memorization. Since then, he has memorized the books of Jude, Colossians, 1 Peter, and 1 Thessalonians. He is currently working on memorizing Ephesians.

This book came about because, James Briggs, a current student at SBTS and friend of Christopher’s, asked Christopher to write a study for his (James’) youth group about scripture memorization. You can visit Christopher’s website at www.dwelling-rich.org.

Summary of Scripture Memorization

Pearson begins the book by explaining that the purpose of memorizing Scripture, “is quite simple: The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God in our hearts to further conform us into the image of Christ” (12). He also shows that memorizing scripture leads to greater fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, enables the greatest defense against sin taking root in our hearts and mind, and allows for us to meditate deeper and more often on the things of God.

His main thesis in the book is that we should not memorize our “favorite” verses but should instead memorize whole books of the Bible. His reasoning is similar to a hermeneutic that is stressed in the SBC-context, context, context. While it is good to know the “key” verses, it is better to know whole books and be ready to meditate on the word of God or “read” the Bible wherever you are even if you don’t have a Bible with you.

Christopher spends the next six chapters explicitly stating why you should memorize whole books of the Bible. His first argument is that it is a great weapon to battle against Satan when engaged in spiritual warfare. Second, it helps in your prayer life. Third, your meditation on the things of God is greatly enhanced. He does offer three more chapters with other reasons, but you get the picture. In the last chapter, he offers a method of how he memorizes whole books of the Bible.

Critical Evaluation of Scripture Memorization

As far as accomplishing his goal of providing a lesson plan of sorts for a youth group, Christopher Pearson successfully accomplishes his goal. However, it is very obvious that this book was self-published. There are spelling errors and grammar mistakes on just about every page. Also, there are some major formatting issues that need to be taken care of if a second edition is published.

His writing style is conversant and engaging and you get the feeling that he is truly writing from the heart. He does write as one with a burden to teach others the benefits of scripture memorization. Errors aside, the book is full of Biblical reasons for memorizing Scripture.

Conclusion

If one is able to read past the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, then this book should be very useful in your ministry or personal devotion time. I realize not most people are interested in a self-published title, but this is one worth looking into. Christopher has set up a 6 or 7 session study to prepare a young group to memorize whole books of the Bible. I would recommend it to a youth pastor or a young believer (or any believer) who is wanting to memorize scripture and teach others how and why it should be done.

You can purchase the book from his website here.

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3 Responses to Book Review: Scripture Memorization by Christopher Pearson

  1. N8Nalley says:

    I’m sure he discusses this, but it is very hard to review full books of the Bible. I’ve had youth groups that have memorized Philippians, Colossians, Titus and Psalm 119, but the discipline it takes to regularly review these long quotations is very hard to teach and impossible to teach to a tare. The discipline of scripture memorization comes down to Review, Review, Review. Unless someone actually engages in that, it doesn’t matter how the text is broken down, how little or much they read, etc.

  2. I think what Chris would say is that he is only offering tools to equip the believers to memorize Scripture as well as biblical reasons why one should go through the effort. All you can do as a minister is to equip your youth (or church) to serve and know God.

    Chris would definitely agree that the key to memorization is review. He says as much on pages 59 and 60. However, he argues that the blessing is worth the effort as I am sure you would agree.

    Terry Delaney’s last blog post..Giving Honor to My Wife on the Lord’s Day

  3. Christopher says:

    Indeed, I would say that review is an incredibly important part of memorization. I do not know how many people have told me that, as a child, they had so many verses memorized. Now…well, now they can hardly memorize one or two verses from their childhood. So, yes, I would say that Review is a HUGE part of memorization.

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